Volunteering Conference at NUI Galway

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

01 November 2006 - The fourth annual VOLT conference will be held at NUI Galway on 6 November, giving Irish volunteer coordinators a place to find peer support and share their knowledge and experience about good practice. VOLT (Volunteer Organisers Linking Together) is the Irish network of volunteer coordinators, and is facilitated and administered by Volunteering Ireland. This conference, Paving the Way: Leadership in Volunteer Management, will feature international speaker Susan J. Ellis, world renowned expert on volunteer management on her first ever visit to Ireland. Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy, Life President of Focus Ireland will open the conference and Sean Kelly, representing the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, will provide an update on the work of the Taskforce. The annual VOLT conference gives Irish volunteer managers the opportunity to explore issues related to coordinating volunteer programmes. This conference will look at the issue of leadership in volunteer management, the concepts of leadership and what this means to those involved in managing volunteer programmes. Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy says "Leadership is about enabling people to realise their worth, their value and their potential". This conference will give volunteer managers the opportunity to reflect on their own leadership style, how they lead volunteers within their own organisation and how they harness leadership qualities in their volunteers. The conference is kindly sponsored by the Community Knowledge Initiative and the National Irish Bank and will take place in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. -ends- For more information visit www.volunteeringireland.ie or contact: Nancy Nuñez, VOLT Chairperson, Tel: 01 8722622, Mobile: 087 9258112, Email: volt@volunteeringireland.ie

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NUI Galway Historian Praises Book by Retirement Group

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

19 December 2006: A leading lecturer in history at NUI Galway has praised a book of short stories and poems by Galway-based senior writers as a "precious collection of stories about bygone times and a wonderful Christmas gift". The book 21 - An Anthology, comes from the Salthill/Knocknacarra Active Retirement Writers Group, and is edited by well-known Irish author Michael Gorman. Many of the stories retrieve a rich written heritage, reflecting a world that has long passed with stories of childhoods in Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s. According to Dr. Caitriona Clear, Lecturer in History, NUI Galway, "The recent past is often farther away from us than the distant past, a time that seems only slightly different but belongs to a different culture, a different way of looking at the world. These stories bring back memories of only cold water in the tap, ice on the inside of bedroom windows, the Rosary in the evening in every house, and boxes of biscuits strapped onto the backs of bikes brought to cousins' houses in the days coming up to Christmas. 21 - An Anthology captures the texture of life we would otherwise forget about". Michael Gorman, a Programme Director at NUI Galway's International Summer School for Writers, who facilitated and compiled the book, comments "My instinct in preparing this collection was to preserve what is most easily endangered, that which is close to hand. I have always been drawn to reticent people rather than those who shout loudest. So, here, in their own words, are twenty-one individuals from all over Ireland who have lived, worked in or retired to Galway". In a poignant twist, the book is dedicated to some of the 21 authors who have passed away since the time of writing, making 21 - An Anthology an even more precious collection of writing. NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Centre has been involved in working with and supporting Active Retirement groups in Galway city and county for the past ten years. 21 - Anthology is published by NUI Galway and can be purchased for just €10 from Áras Fáilte, the information centre on campus. -ends-

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Launch of US Board of Galway University Foundation

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

19 December 2006: The U.S. Board of Galway University Foundation was formally launched by the Irish Consul General in New York, Mr. Tim O'Connor, at a reception hosted recently at the Irish Consul's residence in New York. Galway University Foundation generates financial support for NUI Galway's programmes and activities from a range of private individuals and institutions. The new board will help nurture lasting relationships with donors in the U.S. who share NUI Galway s vision for the future. The U.S. Board will be chaired by NUI Galway graduate Declan Kelly who is CEO of Financial Dynamics US. He will work to raise awareness of the University and assist with the monumental capital campaign that the University has initiated to improve the physical resources offered to its growing student body of 15,000. The development programme will include planned new buildings and enhancements of current facilities, all financed by University resources and a combination of government and private, philanthropic funding. Following the inaugural meeting of the Board in the US, the new members were introduced to a gathering of 150 prominent New York Irish Americans together with University Alumni and Friends. At the meeting, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President, NUI Galway outlined his ambitions for the University "NUI Galway's Governing Authority recently authorised a visionary Capital Development plan, amounting to a €400 million investment in new buildings and enhancements to current facilities. This vision for our 'Campus of the Future' will ensure that we provide the platform from which the young people of today will make their contribution to ensuring that Ireland continues to hold it's place and to play it's part in the knowledge society of the future". The full list of the Galway University Foundation board members in the US are as follows: Declan Kelly, (Chairman), C.E.O Financial Dynamics (Graduate) Mike Higgins, M.D. Real Estate Finance & CIBC World Bank (Graduate) Aedhmar Hynes-McGovern, CEO, Text 100 Public Relations (Graduate) Frank Mooney, Partner, Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller Irial Finan, President - Bottling Investments, Coca-Cola Worldwide (Graduate) Dómhnal Slattery, Chairman & Managing Partner, Claret Capital (Graduate) John MacNamara, Chairman, Galway University Foundation Tom Joyce, Executive Director, Galway University Foundation Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President, NUI Galway The Board appointments are for three years. -ends-

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NUI Galway Research to Boost Eco-Industries

Monday, 18 December 2006

18 December 2006: Environmental researchers from the Civil Engineering Department and Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway have been awarded a three-year research grant to develop, commission and assess innovative environmental technologies for treating wastewaters from small towns and large villages. The research is seen as a major initiative in developing sustainable environmental products and services for the domestic and export markets, as well as meeting the requirements of EU directives on water quality. According to Dr. Michael Rodgers, Civil Engineering, NUI Galway, who heads up the research, "This project is a strategic step towards developing the knowledge, skills and products Ireland will need in order to command a strong stake-hold in the burgeoning environmental technology industry. It is one of the fastest growing sectors in the EU, supplying €183 billion worth of goods and services a year, and is also highlighted in the Government's recent Strategy Document for Science, Technology and Innovation". The grant is co-funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the EU Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP), and the National Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD) under the National Development Plan. Dr. Rodgers will carry out the research work with members of his twenty–person team of engineers and scientists from Ireland, China, Denmark, Spain and Poland. The present value of the team's contracts on such national and international environmental research projects is in excess of € 2.2 million. On location at a local authority site, the NUI Galway team will design and develop technologies to clean wastewater for discharge to any surface or groundwater body. Innovative environmental technologies will be developed to remove a range of contaminants from the wastewater, including organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, microorganisms, odours and solids. Nutrients from the wastewater will fertilise willow trees and the chipped willows will be used as biofuel. The performance of the technologies will be monitored by on-line analysers and sensors, and will be interrogated and controlled from NUI Galway's campus, while computer models will be built and calibrated to provide designs for a range of population sizes. Capital and running costs of different technologies will be evaluated and compared to provide design guidelines for consultants, architects, local authorities, developers, agriculture, industry and planners. The research will provide the basis for a unique Irish water and waste facility for leading edge research, knowledge creation, graduate training, and the development and commercialisation of eco-innovative environmental technologies. There is also scope for education, public information and policy planning. Dr. Rodgers continued "There is great support for the NUI Galway project from environmental technology stakeholders as they have also identified the industry's potential for market growth at home and abroad. All stakeholders will be invited to take part in the research project. It is expected that new commercial environmental products will be developed from this and other industry/higher education projects part-financed through national agencies that include EPA, COFORD, Enterprise Ireland, HEA, IRCSET, Marine Institute, SFI, and Teagasc". -ends -

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NUI Galway hosts first ever conferring of MSc in Software and Information System

Monday, 18 December 2006

18 December 2006: The first ever conferring of the Master of Science in Software and Information Systems (MScSIS) took place recently at NUI Galway. The MScSIS is a collaborative programme between NUI Galway and Regis University in Denver, USA. It was created in response to the rapid pace of change in the techniques and technologies employed within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry and the need for employee skills to remain up-to-date with these changes. Twenty-four students graduated in total with a further graduation taking place in Regis University. Commenting on the graduation, Seamus O'Grady, Director of Adult Education, NUI Galway said, "The class of 2006 represents a 100 per cent retention rate of those who started the course in August 2004. It is a wonderful testament to the work which NUI Galway and Regis have done to make this course a success". The two-year, part-time programme is delivered entirely on-line and is open to honours degree graduates in Science, Engineering or other relevant disciplines, and to other degree graduates with three or more years of relevant experience. "The programme is designed for people wishing to update their ICT skills with a specific emphasis on software development and/or databases, and who require the flexibility offered by online learning", explained Dr. Sam Redfern, Programme Academic Director. "It also suits professionals working in the ICT area who wish to formalise and gain accreditation for their skills". Course materials are written in self-instructional format, are easy to follow and are accompanied by continuous assessment exercises, research questions and a recommended course textbook. Each module is delivered over an eight-week period with specific topics outlined for study during each of these eight weeks. "Establishing a set timetable of study which guides the students as they undertake each module, ensures that they keep up to speed with the recommended programme schedule", according to Nuala McGuinn, Course Co-ordinator. "This is particularly important with distance learning programmes where students may fall behind in course work as they are not attending class on a regular basis". While there are no seminars or tutorials as part of this programme, the students are not alone. An e-tutor is assigned to each module and is available during each eight-week period to answer queries that they may have regarding course content and to provide individualised feedback on the weekly continuous assessment exercises. By combining the strengths of both Universities and the power of the internet, the MScSIS has become truly global with over 120 people currently studying for the MScSIS across Ireland, Europe, Australia and the US. -ends- Notes to Editors For further details please visit the programme website at www.it.nuigalway.ie/onlineITMSc

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